Ah, the Aerospace Engineer. The third character for Duel Major. The second character in the game with glasses. And the first female I've ever modeled. To tell you the truth, all of my life I've struggled with drawing the opposite gender. That being said, I did get better at it with some life drawing classes; which marginally helped me here.
The character design for Duel Major features limbless characters. This design decision was made early on with the expectation that this would make life easier. These past two years have taught me otherwise, but I'll save that for another blog post. The big thing here is that the team asked for a macho woman to be the AERO character, something akin to a drill sergeant. Who also wears a jetpack (cool!).
Concept Art phase
What I took away from life drawing was that the defining characteristics of drawing a female were the head shape, hips, arms, shoulders, legs, and breasts. Limbless characters can only have two of those. Well at least she'll look feminine with a ponytail or long hair! Wait, if we take a look at my reference, short hair is an absolute must for a "drill sergeant". And yup, those aviators will not let me show any eyes or eyelashes that would help. I was certainly scratching my head as I went into the concept art phase.
I emerged from concepting with the hope that once things got to 3D, I would "figure things out". Alas, some "figuring out" happened, which included slimming and adding curves to the torso and figuring out the shape of the head. A couple features like the harness also changed during the modeling phase. But modeling hair is still something I'm learning. I sometimes took refuge from modeling by UV mapping and getting to work on the diffuse map/texture. The initial result looked something like this once brought inside the game with Unity's toon shader:
I'm pretty happy now! That being said, I still have this nagging annoyance that she's not feminine enough. I give the hair another go and continue work on the texture.